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Bahria Town: SC to decide eight cases next week

July 17, 2012

Supreme Court of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD, July 17: The Supreme Court, which is seized with a number of complaints about alleged land grabbing against Bahria Town, has decided to settle at least eight cases relating to the Revenue Employees Cooperative Housing Society by Tuesday next.

A two-judge special bench, comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, said it would like to close the hearing on these cases by the next date.

All the complaints relate to the allotment of one kanal of plot to eight different people in the society, who after clearing the dues were running from pillar to post to acquire the possession of the lands.

But the authorities of the housing society entered into an agreement with Bahria Town and merged the scheme with it.

Subsequently, a notification of amalgamation was issued by Bahria Town on May 12, 2006. But a single judge of the Lahore High Court on June 21, 2012, declared the merger as illegal.

Advocate Ali Zafar, the counsel for Bahria Town, informed the court that his client had already moved an intra-court appeal before the high court challenging the decision of declaring the merger illegal and would submit to the apex court the copies of the appeal and the replies against the complaints in relation to RECHS cases soon.

The court directed the counsel to submit the relevant documents in two days and decided to settle the matter by July 24.

On the insistence of Advocate Zahid Bokhari, another lawyer of Bahria Town in a different case, the court also ordered to fix his application moved on behalf of property tycoon Malik Riaz for July 24.

“My client is facing harassment at the hands of the subordinate judiciary where an impression has seeped into as if the Supreme Court is angry,” the counsel alleged, adding 12-year-old cases were being opened now.

He was also bitter about not listing his application for Tuesday’s hearing and lamented that the review petition of Dr Arsalan Iftikhar was fixed when it was filed much later than his case.

However, Justice Khawaja observed that the court was as much against Malik Riaz as it was against Dr Arsalan and others.

In the application, Mr Bokhari had pleaded that till finalisation of the contempt of court case against Malik Riaz and an inquiry regarding financial wrongdoing worth Rs342 million against Dr Arsalan, his client and his family should not be harassed.

The counsel contended that the court should also issue directions that his client should not be arrested in any case so that the inquiry against Dr Arsalan be conducted in a transparent manner and complete right be given to Malik Riaz for adducing evidence against Dr Arsalan.

The application also said directions be issued against the law enforcing agencies, the anti-corruption establishment and the Punjab police to refrain from harassing and victimising the property tycoon and his family till finalisation of the inquiry against Dr Arsalan.

It also requested the court to issue directions that all courts seized with matters relating to Bahria Town should proceed without being prejudiced with the litigation pending between Dr Arsalan and Malik Riaz.